Fall is travel baseball season and I was headed to Hershey, PA with my 11 year old son to play some baseball – a perfect opportunity to really test out the 2017 Volkswagen CC R-Line Executive with Carbon sedan. Hershey is about 125 miles from McLean, VA where I live so I had about a 250 mile round trip of mixed highway, city and rural driving. My initial concern was whether the CC would be large enough to carry all of our stuff. I’m a coach and we were taking another coach and his son so we had lots of gear – I wasn’t sure it would all fit.
I picked up the coach and his son and we loaded up the CC. It’s bigger inside then it looks. Two baseball bags. Five bats. Coolers – one small and one large. Two medium sized duffles. One small duffel and a backpack . . . and a bucket of baseballs. It was tight but everything fit in the trunk. Apparently we had just about exactly 13.2 cubic feet of stuff because that is exactly how much cargo storage there is in the CC. I put the address in the amazing state-of-the-art Discover Media 6.3-inch touchscreen nav unit and we were on our way.
Initial impressions? Amazing styling – inside and out! Let’s start with the outside. Sleek lines run along the Reflex Silver Metallic exterior from rear to front ending in the striking horizontal black lined grill. The large lower black air intake smartly ties in the fog lights and gives the car an overall aggressive stance with the glossy black side mirrors bringing it all together. On the interior, the all-black leather clad interior screams senior executive. The 6.3-inch state-of-the-art Discover Media 800×480 captive color touch display with proximity sensor is very intuitive and looks great centrally located on the console. With App-Connect, your apps from your compatible smartphone appear on the screen whenever you plug it in. Carbon fiber trim accents, analog clock, and black-on-black seats with ribbed insets screams luxury. I had to check to confirm this was an interior on a car costing less then $40,000. So I loved the exterior and interior styling. I now had to see how it drove.
VW makes one of the best turbo four’s in the marketplace. They use it widely in their fleet, as they should and I loved it in the Beetle R-Line and the Golf STI S. The CC R-Line comes equipped with the 2.0L TSI DOHC turbo 4-cylinder direct injection engine that puts out a solid 200 hp. In VW’s smaller cars its nimble and quick. In the CC its sufficient, but not as quick at low speeds – it really reaches its stride between 30-60 mph. The transmission is a 6-speed DSG dual clutch automatic that has incredibly smooth shifting, due in large part to the dual clutch. With a dual clutch transmission, one clutch works the odd gears and reverse and the other the evens. It allows the next-higher gear to be engaged but remain on standby until it is actually needed. The opening and closing of the two clutches overlap so the shifting is incredibly smooth – the whole process of shifting gears taking less then four-hundreds of a second.
On the safety front, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control are all new for 2017. I used the Adaptive Cruise quite a bit on the road trip and it works similarly to other ACC systems I have used, however, it isn’t quite as good in heavy traffic as some systems I have used. The VW system turns off when your speed gets below around 30 mph which is fairly typical of the vast majority of these systems (one manufacturer’s system, however, actually works at all speeds and only turns off once you come to a complete stop). Because of this, you can’t really use it in heavy traffic as you have the same difficulty you have with the old style of cruise control. I will say otherwise it works really well and I used for the majority of the trip. There are no blind spot monitors on the CC which the majority of manufactures seem to include in their vehicles and I feel are incredibly useful. I would like to see VW add these.
The CC comes in two trim lines. The Sport which will cost you $34,475 and the Executive (and Executive with Carbon) which will cost you $37,820 (the only additional options are a trunk liner and CARGOTECH trunk storage blocks). The difference between the Sport and the R-Line Executive is that the R-Line adds the driver assistance package (front assist, lane assist and adaptive cruise) and the moon roof (which is nice sized, but only tilts and doesn’t open). The R-Line Executive with Carbon adds carbon fiber trim to the interior (special order only). I like the safety features and think that they make a big difference in safety so I think the R-Line Executive is definitely worth the extra cost.